In 1969 Felipe Luciano helped to found the New York chapter of the Young Lords, a political activist group that served as an important voice for the Puerto Rican community. A reformed gang member, Luciano—known during this period as "the Magnet"—emerged as a charismatic orator. He led numerous demonstrations and initiated campaigns on behalf of New York’s Puerto Rican community. At this time he also began to deliver spoken-word performances and was a member of the Original Last Poets, a group of writers whose frequently improvisational compositions were rooted in street culture. In this 1970 photograph, the twenty-two-year-old Luciano stands before a brick wall in Harlem on which the motto "Patria O Muerte" (Nation or Death) has been written. He is still an active media personality and speaks to government and corporate leaders on issues affecting the Latino community.